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Jake Hallac and Joe Herzig

Introduction

• What is the universe made of?

• Electrons, Neutrons, Protons, 6 types of quarks

• Fundamental Particles and their masses

**• Four fundamental forces
**

– Weak, Strong, Electromagnetic, Gravity

General Relativity

• Published by Einstein 1915 • Gravitational attraction results from warping of space time • Overturns Newton’s law of universal gravitation • Used for more massive objects • Highlights- predicted gravitational time dilation, black holes, and existence of gravitational waves.

General Relativity

• Warping of Space=mechanism of gravity • More massive the object, the greater the indent and as one gets farther away, warping decreases. • Essentially same predictions made as Newton, but key differences

Quantum Mechanics

• Deals with energy and matter on atomic/subatomic scale • Foundation of numerous sciences • Still, people don’t understand why it works • Basic concepts essential to our everyday world have

Quantum Mechanics

• The Uncertainty Principle- central feature of QM. • In Direct conflict with general relativity • Top level= quantum world, 10-33 cm or Planck Length

Combining QM and GR

• Attempts to combine them have failed • Cases like the Big Bang or Black Holes • That is until string theory.

**What are Strings?
**

• Strings are the fundamental building blocks of the universe • Tiny, unable to be detected by current technologies • Thought to be on order of Planck Length, 1.6 × 10−35

String Vibrations

• Similar to vibrational patterns of Violin • Different vibrational patterns give rise to different masses and force charges

**History of String Theory
**

• 1968- Gabriele Venezeiano- studying strong nuclear force, used Euler beta-function equation, everything made perfect sense • 1970- Leonard Susskind- if particles were instead strings, one could explain why Euler’s equation worked for describing nuclear interactions • Early 70s- string theory in conflict with other theories describing strong nuclear force

**History of String Theory
**

• 1974- John Schwarz and Joel Scherkhypothesized messenger particles were gravitons • Until 1984- string theory shunned by physics communityconflicts with quantum mechanics • 1984- 86- “Superstring Revolution” • 80s and 90s- little progress because of conflicting theories and difficult equations • 1995- strings conference, Witten and the “second superstring revolution”

Edward Witten

**Open and Closed Strings
**

• With either type of string, both merge and split • In theories that include open strings, can merge and split with closed strings • Causes different oscillations

Strings Con’t

• Strings can be either open or closed. • All string theories contain at least closed strings • A closed string is a string that has no end-points, equivalent to a circle. • An open string, in contrast, has two endpoints, equivalent to a

Open

Closed

Extra Dimensions

• In uniting QM and GR- string theory yields negative probabilities • Calculations showed 9 dimensions (+time) would cancel out negative probabilities • Theoretical dimensions would be very small, around 10-15 meters • Unable to be detected with particle accelerators

**Extra Dimensions of String Theory
**

• Equivalent to a

garden hose stretched over a canyon, viewed from 2 miles away • Why does String Theory require 9 dimensions? Why would some be curled up?

Prior to 1995

• Late 1980s- 5 versions of string theory • Up to 1995- used approximate equations, which gave endless solutions to equations. • Perturbation Theory

Types of String Theories prior to 1995

**Beyond String Theory: MTheory
**

• Primary insight of second superstring revolution in 1995 • Features: 11 dimensions and not just strings • Witten’s ideaduality • Work in progress

**Video- Summarizes string theory
**

• http://youtube.com/watch?v=_B0Kaf7xYMk&f eature=related

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